Monday, April 23, 2007

Latest Local Area Personal Income Data

Personal income grew faster in 2004 than in 2003 in most of the nation's metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), according to estimates released today by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.
Fewer than one in six MSAs grew slower in 2004 than in the previous year. Most of these slower growing MSAs are in the Great Lakes Region and have a relatively large motor vehicle manufacturing sector.
Income growth in the faster-growing MSAs reflects faster growth in wages per job as well as in employment and population. Wages per job increased 4.1 percent in the faster-growing areas, one percentage point more than in the slower-growing areas. Average employment growth was 1.4 percent and population growth was 1.1 percent in the faster-growing areas. In contrast, employment growth of 0.4 percent did not keep pace with population growth of 0.6 percent in the slower-growing areas.
Almost 100 MSAs lost population or employment or both during the year. Nevertheless, personal income increased in all but five MSAs and per capita income grew in all but seven MSAs. Per capita income grew faster than inflation (2.6 percent as measured by the national price index for personal consumption expenditure) in all but 19 MSAs.
Per capita income rankings. The table below lists the MSAs with highest and lowest per capita incomes. Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Connecticut continued to have the highest per capita income of all MSAs in 2004. The average income of $62,979 was nearly double the national average and more than four times greater than the last place MSA. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Washington is new to the top ten, displacing Sebastian-Vero Beach, Florida. The special Microsoft dividend paid at the end of 2004 contributed to Seattle's rise since many of the largest shareholders live there.
McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas continued to have the lowest per capita income of all MSAs. Its average income of $15,460 was less than half of the national average. Nine of the ten MSAs with the lowest per capita incomes in 2003 also had the lowest incomes in 2004. Las Cruces, New Mexico is new to the bottom ten this year, displacing Madera, California.
Source: US Bureau of Economic Analysis

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